To say that President Donald Trump has maintained a testy relationship with the rest of the federal government would be a massive understatement. This Thursday, he lambasted House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) for new committee majority staff additions who came from the administration, but the prominent California Democrat dismissed the criticism.
He told reporters:
‘We have a long tradition of hiring out of the intelligence community, the National Security Council — and if the president is worried about our hiring any former administration people, maybe he should work on being a better employer.’
Thursday morning, Trump had whined on Twitter:
‘The Dems and their committees are going “nuts.” The Republicans never did this to President Obama, there would be no time left to run government… Even stealing people who work at White House! A continuation of Witch Hunt!’
To be clear, an Intel Committee aide says they haven’t hired anyone who worked on the president’s personal and closest staff — in other words, at the actual White House. They’ve simply tapped individuals with relevant national security and global issues backgrounds to fill positions opened up by Democrats’ new majority status.
The aide responding to CNN’s questioning explained:
‘We do not discriminate against potential hires on the basis of their prior work experience, including the administration.’
Notably enough, the most recent House Intel Committee Chairman Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) also hired from the administration, adding former National Security Council Middle East director Derek Harvey. It’s not as though Trump lashed out at that time, highlighting just how entrenched in his angry partisan bickering the president really is. Nunes, besides being a Republican, was an ally of the president, directing his committee’s resources away from the Russia investigation and towards and investigation of the investigators, so to speak, meant to uncover alleged wrongdoing on the part of those originally behind concern about Russia at the Justice Department.
Although there are rumors about the new pickups from the administration’s identities, the committee has itself declined to identify who they hired of exactly when they worked in administration positions.
Although Trump suggested that the new hires would all be put to work on the “witch hunt” — aka Russia investigation — that’s not necessarily true. Despite the president’s obsession with the Russia scandal, that’s not all the committee deals or will be dealing with.
Nevertheless, this past week, Schiff announced a new committee effort to investigate the Trump team, expanding the prematurely shuttered Russia investigation to cover any possible corrupt Trump team connections to foreign interests, both economic and political.
On Thursday, the president claimed the move had “never happened before” and constitutes “unlimited presidential harassment,” although if he really wanted nothing to worry about, he should have thought of that before cozying up to Russia.
On Tuesday, during his State of the Union address, Trump also decried Democrats’ investigative efforts, comparing them at one point to literal war and suggesting that “ridiculous partisan investigations” could derail economic progress for the United States — which sounds suspiciously close to a threat…
Still, the very next day, Schiff announced his committee’s renewed investigation.
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